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While small in size, ground squirrels can cause large amounts of damage to your property as they burrow through your yard. These cousins of tree squirrels and chipmunks are common across the United States and known for their approachability. Ground squirrels can be tamed to venture close to humans for food but pose a big risk for the spread of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, rat bite fever, the bubonic plague, and more.
If you’re fighting with ground squirrels on a mission to overtake your backyard paradise, it’s time to contact PURCOR. Our pest control professionals are equipped to identify conditions in your yard that attract pests and implement Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies that will send ground squirrels and other wildlife scattering away from your yard.
What do ground squirrels look like?
It’s easy to mistake a ground squirrel for a tree squirrel or chipmunk, but there are a few key traits that make these critters unique. A ground squirrel’s body ranges from 9 to 11 inches long with a bushy tail 5 to 9 inches long. Their color can vary widely among species from gray, tawny, or pale brown to olive, reddish, or very dark brown. Ground squirrels also have off-white speckles and stripes that run down their backs.
These small rodents are active during the day, usually during the mid-morning and late afternoon hours. Warm, sunny days are the ideal environment for a ground squirrel with some species hibernating during the winter months.
Tree squirrels will be found in nests and holes in trees and are larger than ground squirrels, measuring between 12 and 20 inches in length. Chipmunks lean the opposite way in size, measuring 3 to 8 inches long and weighing in at less than a pound. Chipmunks also have a thin, short tail and black and white stripes on their faces and backs.
How is a ground squirrel burrow identified?
As their name implies, ground squirrels build their burrows in the ground where they eat, sleep, and raise their young. Burrow systems start 2 to 3 feet below the surface of the ground but can reach up to 6 feet deep and 20 feet in length with multiple entrances.
You can identify a ground squirrel burrow entrance as a small opening in the ground about 4 inches in diameter. Unlike gophers that create mounds, ground squirrels won’t bring soil to the surface, but you may notice the grass leading into the hole becomes worn over time from use.
Ground squirrels prefer open grasslands to dig burrows but may also burrow near residential and commercial buildings. They may make their way under patios and foundations with the ability to cause structural damage if the ground becomes weak and collapses.
Control and Prevent Ground Squirrels with PURCOR
You may be tempted to try DIY solutions for a ground squirrel problem, but resist the urge. DIY solutions can destroy your lawn as you try to figure out what techniques help minimize ground squirrel damage. Instead of spending the summer fighting off teams of ground squirrels, give the pest control professionals at PURCOR™ a call for ground squirrel control services. Through advanced pest removal solutions and follow-up treatments, we’ll help you take back your backyard oasis. Contact PURCOR for a free estimate or give us a call to schedule your inspection today.